There they are!!

And then, just after midnight on our last day, there they were! Somewhere along the edge of the fjord ice in Nordfjorden a mother and cub were walking and a bit further another female. In the middle of the night (ah well, this far north the sun doesn’t set anyway), but that didn’t keep us from waking up everybody and lowering the zodiacs. Warm clothes on, and some more as it was -12C.

Polar Bear in midnight sun

We first had a look at the lone female as she was walking, not too far away on the ice. She looked to be in good condition (as she should, just after the moment when the Ringed Seals give birth). We just parked our zodiacs and watched wat the bear was doing, all in this beautiful midnight sun.

Arctic Fox in winter coat

After a while, she moved further onto the sea ice and left us behind. What a thrill!! This is what we really wanted. Now we were in our zodiacs at the edge of the ice, with a lone female bear not too far away laying down on the ice, a mother and cub a little further and an Arctic Fox coming over to check it all out. And us in the middle of it, just enjoying it. Well, and getting cold. It was -12C, remember… We started jumping up and down a little, and after some time, we decided to head back to the ship and warm up, while we waited for new action.

Radio-collared female Polar Bear

Well, that plan didn’t age well… When we had just returned to the ship and were getting onboard, the small family got on their feet again and were walking along the ice edge. A perfect situation for us to park our zodiacs at some distance and watch as the bears would walk by. And they did. The cub was curious at every little piece of ice it could find, but the mother wanted to walk on. So she urged the cub to continue moving.

the young cub drinking

When they had passed us, they kept on walking and headed more inland, leaving us behind again. Super excited about what we had just seen, but also slightly chilled. Time to head back to the ship, it was 3:30am already and get some sleep.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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